I Want To Go Where The Garbage Men Go

I want to go where the garbage men go
I want to ride where the garbage men ride
it is Friday night it is eight pm I want to
go where the garbage men go
when they gear up
when they get in motion
the garbage men the garbage men
cruising the city like a shooting star
like a desert consuming itself
they ache for garbage from their biceps
to their toes like Columbus ached for America
like kids ache for the Good Humor man
like a robber emptying a cash register
at a 7-Eleven aches for money
in t-shirts and stained jeans
with their jaws stuck out
like Ethel and Fred Mertz
with their heads like steel plates
and their va va va voom
the garbage men do not mind they do not care
it is hot it is cool what's the difference?
It's all work to them
and they love to work
with their leather gloves
on their leather hands
and they are high above the crowd
and the stench of it all
and it's good damn money besides -
good damn money! Who's going to tell them different?
They are tall they are muscular who is going to tell them?
They have good teeth they have hair like Greek gods
and their language is perfect!
Their muscles shivering like primitive seas
their bones shaking like javelines
and the blood of centuries dries on their hands
they are big as beer barrels
and they love to talk like pirates of the Aegean
and wrestle with each other like animals on the ground
they are jackhammers in Mamaroneck
they are tugboats on the Sound
from Brooklyn to the Bronx from trash can to sea
to shining sea I want to roll along on the rain spattered roadway -
I am perfectly serious about this I want to
go with the garbage men!
They are calm they are professional
and they're loud as fists striking solid steel
they are polite to the mayor
and if they whistle at the pretty mamasitas
it is only for show it doesn't really mean anything
they brush flies away from their faces
nothing bothers them at all nothing!
Not traffic lights not fender benders
not bosses not banana skins
not razor blades not twenty dollar bills
not a box of taco shells and not the Daily News
and when the wind picks up they shout back at the wind
and the wind gets the hell out of their way
and when they wave to the driver the truck takes off
and the traffic parts, like mountains part
for Colorado mountain men
and they ride away
and where do they go with all that garbage?
They go to the landfill
they go to the loading docks
they go to trailer parks
they go to Windy Gap
they go to the incinerator
they go to Staten Island
they go to the ocean floor -
they go home to their wives and mothers
their sons and daughters
to their neat little houses
in their neat little suburbs
they climb out of their trucks
and they pull off their clothes
they climb into their beds
and they pull their wives to them
and they make love to their wives properly
and then they go to sleep
and if they dream at all
it's no big thing! No big thing!
After awhile they stop dreaming
and they are dead to the world
and their sleep is dark and perfect
as night is dark and perfect
and they are the Lords
of everything they survey

by George Wallace

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